Not available in 2020/21
PB453      Half Unit
Corporate Behaviour and Decision Making

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible



This course is available on the MSc in Behavioural Science. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course provides the opportunity for students to learn how the tools of behavioural science can help to improve the outcomes of the firm. Specifically, behavioural science lessons for search and hiring, diversity and inclusion, firm culture, conduct, and high stakes decision making are covered. 

Each topic starts with equipping students with the predictions from traditional economic models. We then proceed to consider the individual biases which distort the decision making process, and how this distorts outcomes. We consider interventions and solutions to these problems with a specific emphasis on : 1. is there a problem, 2. menu of solutions for the problem 3. quantifying if the solutions worked.


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 case study in the LT.

Case study with short questions that matches the style of the summative assessment

Indicative reading

Bertrand Marrianne and Duflo Ester. Field Experiments on Discrimination. in Handbook of Economics Field Experiments. Volume 1, pages 309 - 393 2017.

MLA: Gneezy, Uri, Kenneth L. Leonard, and John A. List. "Gender differences in competition: Evidence from a matrilineal and a patriarchal society." Econometrica 77.5 (2009): 1637-1664.

Johnston, David W. and Lordan, Grace (2016) Racial prejudice and labour market penalties during economic downturns European Economic Review, 84. 57-75

Lordan, Grace and Pischke, Jorn-Steffen (2016) Does Rosie like riveting? Male and female occupational choices NBER working paper, 22495. National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, USA.

Kandasamy, Narayanan, et al. "Cortisol shifts financial risk preferences." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111.9 (2014): 3608-3613.

Shiller, Robert J. Finance and the Good Society, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.

Fama, Eugene, “Market Efficiency, Long-Term Returns, and Behavioral Finance,” Journal of Financial Economics.


Coursework (100%, 4000 words) in the ST.

Two case studies with short questions

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2019/20: 21

Average class size 2019/20: 10

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills